William Nylander: 6 years, $6.96 million
Nobody wants the negotiation between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander to mimic itself when the Devils and Jack Hughes negotiate. It was ugly for the most part, and the negotiation forced Nylander to miss the first two months of the 2018-19 season. Trying to jump right into the season really hurt his production. He only had 27 points that season in 54 games. He struggled mightily.
Overall, he was fine. He’s now one of the best players on the Maple Leafs, a team that is filled with talent. Hughes is hoping to do something similar to Nylander. He wants to get paid for future performance.
Nylander was coming off two 61-point seasons when he signed his contract. Hughes is coming off a season where he was on pace for 45 points over 82 games (but actually scored 31 in 56). He also dealt with COVID and had much less of a supporting cast than Nylander had. They are in a similar place.
The Devils could give Hughes around $6.5 million or $7 million over five to six seasons. It wouldn’t pay for a lot of Hughes’ UFA years, but they can only buy so many at this point. Also, they have Luke Hughes coming up, so the fact he gets to play with his brother will likely keep him here a little longer and hopefully for a little cheaper.